Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Art of Animation

When I was young, I listened to the radio... waiting for my favorite song...

Then came a time when we started viewing the songs on TV... 
and now we watch them on all different sizes of screens... including the mobile...

Video Killed The Radio Star... No, we're not having a discussion on the disruption of the traditional media... will save it for another day...

Today, in fact I want to appreciate a technique that has contributed to helping us enjoy our music videos... The same technique that changed cartoon strips in cartoon videos...


28th October is a day set aside to celebrate the art of animation. We cannot speak of animation without a mention of the man who has played a major role in bringing it to our living rooms - Walt Disney.

To celebrate International Animation Day on this blog, I thought I'd share some of the music videos I've seen with some great animation. 

Money For Nothing - Dire Straits 

Black or White - Michael Jackson

Did you see the animated morphs at the end.

One More Time - Daft Punk

Heartless - Kanye West

Take On Me - A ha

And my favorite ANIMATION VIDEO is

Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel

If you have a favorite video that you've enjoyed the animation for... let me know... 

Leaving you with a couple more quotes to think about.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Singing for JESUS

'Twas February 1986, just a month before my SSC Examinations. And a big event for Catholics in India. The pontiff of the Catholic Church - Pope John Paul II -  was visiting India for the first time. Hordes of Catholics, and people of other faiths as well, gathered at Shivaji Park in Dadar for the celebration of the Eucharist. And the celebration with the ringing of bells and voices - Ring Out Your Joy.

As the chorus chimed, it was followed by a verse sung by a familiar voice - my Dad's sister Jeanette Fernandes, who is still an integral part of the choir at the Holy Name Cathedral in Mumbai. What's even more special about the hymn is that it was composed specially for the Papal Visit, by a priest who has been the face of liturgical music in Mumbai for the past 50 years or more - Rev. Fr. Aniceto Nazareth
Rev. Fr. Aniceto Nazareth
A couple of weeks ago on October 16th (Sunday) the all-Bombay choir The Proclaimers - originally trained by Fr. Aniceto Nazareth were part of the celebration O Sing To the Chief Musician felicitating him on his Sacredotal Golden Jubilee - 50 years of his being a priest. Besides paying rich tribute to him in music and words of the bishops and others in attendance, the gathering also unveiled a page about Fr. Aniceto Nazareth on Wikipedia.

Among the various hymns composed by him, I can recall singing this wonderful song of praise at almost every family Church service since the mid-seventies. I still sing it while leading the morning Mass at my parish in Chembur.

Church Music has changed tremendously in the last 40 years that I've known it. Growing up, our church music would be characterized by the Church organ. We had a huge organ on the choir loft with two levels of keys and besides the foot pedal there were also foot keys, which were supposed to be used for the bass effects. The hymns would also have an aura of solemnity. Have Thine Own Way is one of the regulars sung at daily Mass through the 70s and early 80s.

Technological advances in music made the organs smaller and added more rhythms and effects to the keyboards. During my college days, I used to team up with friends who would be called to sing regularly for wedding Masses at the Don Bosco shrine in Matunga. Besides the traditional hymns, we'd try some catchy hymns that were fashioned on pop tunes. Also some original compositions by our keyboardist, Roney Gomes. Still remember this soulful reflection on the Eucharist - Bread Blest and Broken. 

The widespread adoption of the Yamaha Portasound PSR range in the late 90s and 2000s has seen the adoption of rhythms and effects in Church music. Our parish has a couple of keyboardists who really know how to get the best sounds off the keyboard - George Joseph.

Another recent development in church music over the past 10 years or so has been the introduction of Action Songs.  Designed to get the young to dance while singing, these songs are full of energy and life. The popularity of these Action Songs is driven by strong Youth movements - the Jesus Youth Catholic Movement being one example.

With the Diwali holidays having started this week in most schools, many parishes in Mumbai are conducting Vacation Bible Joy (VBJ).

There's sure going to be a lot of music and dancing out there. Or as I heard them say in Hindi - Nachunga Gaunga. I believe Sheldon Bangera is a Chemburite from the local sights around Chembur Station in this video. 

With all this music wave going around, it's no surprise that Gospel TV channels are going the 'Idol' route. Happened to meet up with the production team of a Christian TV Channel - BiG J TV which is planning auditions in Mumbai this weekend. If the Lord has blessed you with the talent of music and song, it's time you share that talent with the whole world by singing and dancing for the Lord. If you want more information on the auditions, check out Big Singer for Jesus.

More Christian music lined up this week for older youth and adults as well. St. Pius X Seminary in Goregaon is hosting Festival of the Light - a Proclamation Festival on 29th and 30th October. The program includes Proclamation thru Music and Social Media as well.

There's so much more wonderful spiritual music to share... will be back with more discussion and lots more music on the subject.

P.S. Exactly one year ago today, I paid tribute to The Singing Priest on this blog. Remembering him in a special way today as well for his musical inspiration. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Vaya Con Dios

Was just talking of weddings in the tribute to Cliff Richard (Hanging With Cliff). This is one song that has been sung as a Bridal Special (for many many weddings) in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Sung by Elvis Presley among the string of others including the Tex-Mex singer, Freddy Fender.

I posted a question earlier today about a famous song that shares the name with a Mexican casserole including sausage, shrimp, veggies, rice and chilli. 

Got a lot of correct answers - Jambalaya and some invitations to a meal of it. 

Freddy Fender is possibly best known for this soulful ballads like Before The Next Teardrop Falls.

Another song of his that used to be heavily requested - Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.

Ten years ago, today the world bid Vaya Con Dios to this wonderful entertainer. The phrase meaning Goodbye literally means Going With God.



(4 June 1937 - 14 October 2006)

Your music lives on

Hanging with Cliff

As I sat down yesterday reminiscing about the Simon and Garfunkel duets and group songs I've sung through the years, I didn't realize that today was the birthday of a singer whose song won me not just a prize but a trophy at the age of just seven with the song Lucky Lips.

The song has such wonderful memories that I taught my sons to sing it. Will share their covers some other time. 

As I moved into the teens, another couple of Cliff Richard songs ranked high on my repertoire. The first being in a similar genre to my childhood favorite - Living Doll.

This love ballad of Cliff Richard caught my attention, not just because of its sentimentality, but also because it had a chord that I came across for the first time - a C+. The song was a C+ song - Constantly.

Was checking for other mentions of Cliff Richard in this blog and found Wedding Pullav and Lagan Nu Custard (A Musical Wedding) - a post I'd written just two days after his birthday last year commemorating the Silver Wedding Anniversary of one of my cousins - who sang his song as the Bridal Special at her own wedding. 

In fact you hear Cliff Richard at every wedding even today - co-inciding with the cutting of the Wedding Cake. The song being a common wish - Congratulations.

Trust you enjoyed that Medley and were possibly snapping your fingers or tapping your feet.

While his songs are played at every wedding and possibly occasion, Cliff Richard has remained a Bachelor Boy.

If you were wondering where that video was from, it was from the movie starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows - Summer Holiday.



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Eyes Wide Open...

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train's window shouted 
"Dad, look the trees are going behind!"

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, 
looked at the 24 year old's childish behavior with pity.

Suddenly he again exclaimed "Dad, look the clouds are running with us!"

The couple couldn't resist and said to the old man 
"Why don't you take your son to a good doctor?"

The old man smiled and said "
I did and we are just coming from the hospital, 
my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today..."

I've come across the story above on Facebook, Whatsapp and other shares by friends. But today seemed to be the perfect day to share it.... On World Sight Day. 

Observed on the second Thursday of October, the World Sight Day is a day to celebrate the sense of sight that we've been endowed with. And to make the right use of this gift to see Visions of Love.

While we step up the war against physical blindness with regular testing, healthy diet - especially for diabetics, we also need help from above to ward off spiritual blindness. Open the Eyes of My Heart.


It's nearing midnight where I am, and I need to go and close my eyes and get some sleep. And get up to a brighter world tomorrow morning. 

Simple Simon Scores a Diamond

If you've ever sung a duet or a group song, there a high chance that it would have been one of his. 

Today the simple half of an iconic duo scores 75 today. Over the years I've sung songs by Simon & Garfunkel on many occasion with as many groups, but I'll probably start quietly - with a song that my cousins - the Fernandes sisters - have covered in absolute brilliance. Close your eyes and open up those ears to listen to The Sound Of Silence.

Just earlier this week, I was hitching a ride with a friend, who mentioned that her mother was full of praise for the beautiful singing of the Pinto family singers from Fort, Mumbai - my Dad's family. And this song among the hundreds of others that I've heard them sing could soothe anyone - Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Simon and Garfunkel was a favorite duo from my brother and myself. One of the favorite songs we've sung together has been The Boxer. We did it again the last time we met as well.

My five years in college was memorable for the music that we played at the various intercollegiate competitions that we sang. And among the first songs that we sang in the group was about the Scarborough Fair.

Move on to the Summer Camp we'd have at our Parish in Chembur and the group singing competition. Won the first place for a modern rendition of the 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) complete with the 'boom-boom' on the vocal bass and the 'click-clicking' finger rhythms.

If you liked the rhythm on that one, you'll surely like the next song that inspired a reggae version - Cecilia. Used to sing that with the Blending Stars - led by Roney Gomes in the early '90s. 

Got called out to, the other day while climbing the bridge at the railway station - the reason being I was walking there in a world of my own, humming a tune to include on my blog of the day while being Homeward Bound.

I've reached home now (for the day) and back home as well after a fair share of travel and life away from Mumbai having seen the 59th Street Bridge as well. But thanks to Paul Simon (and Art Garfunkel) for the nostalgic memories. So from all of us... Happy #MusicalBirthday to Paul Simon - and its no ordinary birthday. He completes 75 today. 

I'll just leave you with a simple question - where is the 59th Street Bridge? Not very far from home. 

There are other #MusicalBirthday today as well. Find out more on my blog post on This Day Last Year - From Scarborough Fair to Graceland.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

10000 Reasons

10000 Reasons... that's the name of that song...

And I have... 10000 reasons... to thank you.... 

Where Reason = Pageview, I have to thank you for the 10000 Pageviews on this Blog.

For those who've joined us recently, thought you would like to look at some of the most popular posts on the blog.

And the Top 10 Posts on A Musical Twist to Life are: 

At #10

One Year of Blogging

May 22, 2016
includes my top 5 blog posts from my first year of this blog. I said One Year not One Week (Barenaked Ladies).

At #9

The Lilting Voice of Indian Cinema - Lata Mangeshkar

September 28, 2016
Tracing the association of the great Lata Mangeshkar through eight decades of music on her 87th birthday.

At #8

Mother Teresa - Model of Mercy

September 4, 2016
On the occasion of the canonisation of Mother Teresa, this post includes many more songs inspired by St. Teresa of Kolkota.

At #7

Let's Dance... It's International Dance Day

April 29, 2016
Posted on International Dance Day... Just Dance.

At #6


October 3, 2016
From just a few days ago, on the #MusicalBirthday of Chubby Checker...The King of Twist...

At #5

Much Ado About Shakespeare

April 23, 2016
Posted on the 100th death anniversary of the bard, this post includes songs inspired by Shakespeare or movies based on his writings. 

At #4

Chak De India... Rashtriya Khel Divas

August 29, 2016
The birthday of hockey legend Dhyan Chand is observed as National Sports Day...

At #3

Around The World... in 14 Songs

September 27, 2016
On World Tourism Day, we did the trip to various destinations around the world... Roam (B-52s).

At #2

Happy Friendship Day 2015

August 3, 2015
Posted on a Sunday morning, this post got me connected to friends from many years back... Friends (Michael W Smith & Amy Grant).

And at the top spot - #1

Back To School

June 29, 2015
A reminiscence of music at school, on being invited to coach the school choir for the feast. Did not include any music on the post... but the picture of the talented students was worth a million words. 

Thanks again for your support to this blog... Keep reading, following, subscribing... and also share your feedback (in the comments below).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Woof, Meoow, Neigh.... Talk To The Animals

There's a day for everything... and October 4 is designated as World Animal Day. But why?

October 4 is the feast day of the St. Francis of Assisi - the patron saint of animals and ecology.

St. Francis of Assisi - Patron Saint of Animals

With the day dedicated to animals, it seems only fair to dedicate this post to them as well. 

Our association with animal songs go back to our earliest years with nursery rhymes. From Baa Baa Black Sheep to Mary Had A Little Lamb, Three Blind Mice to Old MacDonald Had A Farm, we learnt the names of most of the farm animals.

But the earliest song (not nursery rhyme) I recall with animals in it is this Golden Oldie - (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window (Patti Page).

The innocence and faithfulness of dogs (or their young ones) lends itself to the love between very young couples - Puppy Love (Paul Anka).

Not all dogs are gentle. Some can be the Hound Dog (Elvis).

From the dog we move to the other domestic animal almost as popular as the dog - that the cat.

The mention of the cats reminds me of CATS - the Musical. I attended a couple of auditions for The Best Of Broadway put up in Mumbai in the 1980s - directed by Celia Lobo with music by Leon D'Souza and including performers of the calibre of Shahriyar and Ella Atai among others.

The other cat song that comes straight to mind is Phoebe's favorite performance song from Friends - Smelly Cat.

Sometimes we use the names of animals to call people names like Alley Cat (Peggy Lee). 

Flip the gender around... and many years later... She could be a Maneater (Hall & Oates)

A big cat like the Tiger has a keen sense of vision and Rocky Balboa in the title song of the movie based on him Rocky is said to have the Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor).

Another animal that is close to man and take him places is the Horse With No Name (America).

While researching for this post, I found that lots of animals and even birds rock. Wanna dance the Crocodile Rock (Elton John).

Now its time for the birds. And the Rockin' Robin (Jackson 5).

Birds are better known for singing. And a questions for those on West End London, have you ever been there when The Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (Manhattan Transfer).

Or have you heard the songs of the Blackbird (Paul McCartney).

We've been on the land and in the air... so let's take a trip Under The Sea (Sebastian The Crab - The Little Mermaid).

This post on World Animal Day would be incomplete if I don't mention one of the best animal movie series ever... Have you heard of Dr. Doolittle? He used to Talk To The Animals (Bobby Darin).

While he spoke to the dogs, cats, horses, birds, monkeys and elephants, I don't remember seeing any fox in the movie. That's because no one knows What Does The Fox Say (Ylvis).

There are so many more animal songs... Thank You to all those who responded to my post of Facebook and Twitter... I'm sure you can think of some more songs about animals... just share them in the comments. 

Monday, October 3, 2016



The dictionary defines twist as bending or curling. An alternative definition is to rotate around a stationary point. 

There is a 'twist' in the name of this blog and 'twists' and turns in the road to life. But there is also a 'twist' in music - and it encompasses not one but both of the definitions right above - bending and curling around a stationary point.

If you were born in the before the 60s (I wasn't), you'd would be very familiar with the dance form. But I've seen this dance and enjoyed songs with twists at the many weddings we've attended in the '70 and '80s. This is how they do The Twist.

Written originally by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side, the song became extremely popular and went to #1 when covered by Chubby Checker. I used to be quite chubby as a kid... and used to love to play checkers as well. But this post is not about me... but about the rockin' (or rather twistin' singer) who celebrates his 75th birthday today. 


The popularity he got with The Twist was not enough - he had to do it again with Let's Twist Again. 

The twist was an absolute rage from 1959 through to around 1962, the created the 'twist' around anything. There was even a comic book that was about the 'twist'.

There is even an Alvin Twist, the Peppermint Twist, the Spanish Twist... and (take a breath)...the Bollywood Twist aka Aao Twist Karein.

The twisting even caught with the Fab Four - the Beatles, who have their cover version of Chubby Checker's - Aa... aa... aa... aa... Twist and Shout.

Among the many covers of Twist and Shout include the Reggae versions by Chaka Demus and the Pliers and Shaggy.

After the mid-sixties, the rage seems to have died down. My favorite 'twist' song from the Eighties is the one near water - Twisting by the Pool (Dire Straits).

Twenty-five after the pool, Bollywood was back twisting at weddings and parties with the Twist from Love Aaj Kal.

If you enjoyed the 'twist' here follow The Musical Twist to Life right here or maybe request for it to be delivered right to your email box. 


Sting 65

An all-time favorite dish of mine in a Chinese Restaurant is Chicken65. Order it in a good restaurant and you enjoy the finger-licking goodness or maybe spice. 

One of my favorite singers - and definitely the most versatile one ever - celebrated his 65 yesterday. Since the day was absolutely full of commitments and deadlines, I thought I should just squeeze in a quick wish while it is still October 2nd  in some small part of the world. 


Since Sting is possibly one of the most featured artistes on this blog, I thought I could just curate some of my previous posts where he is mentioned.

Gandhi Jayanti and More Birthdays

Sting shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi - a model of non-violence for Indians and others around the world.  Last year, I posted a tribute to the 'Father of the Nation' (India) besides greeting some musicians who shared the birthday including Youssou N'Dour.

Sting's birthday also marked the start of a festive month in India with Navratri having started yesterday... and Diwali at the end of the month. A few days before Diwali, India will celebrate Dhanteras. 

Sting has a special association with Mark Knopfler on this song and was mentioned on this blog post celebrating Mark's birthday.

Just last week, we celebrated World Tourism Day... with a special mention and a song for the traveler Sting - The Englishman in New York.

Signing off with an all-time favorite from Sting with The Police - Every Breath You Take.

Visit to discover Indian blogs